The Word Bearers Legion Infantry have really grown on me the past couple of years.I don’t have a particular affinity with the seventeenth legion, but I thoroughly enjoy painting their palette, which exudes a distinct aesthetic of the Great Crusade era. The candy-style metallic red, in particular, stands out compared to any of the armies I had painted before. It quickly became my top choice among the traitor legions to tackle. Additionally, being among the first to align themselves with the neverborn and unleash the daemons of the Ruinstorm added to their appeal.

On the tabletop, they are visually striking, standing out alongside armies like the Emperor’s Children. In my opinion, they are one of the more visually exciting forces. Even if most players love to hate them from a narrative standpoint. That’s ok, I can’t stand Erebus either!

The difference between gods and daemons largely depends upon where one is standing at the time ~ Lorgar Aurelian

The core of my Word Bearers legion infantry consists of three units: tactical legionaries, veteran legionaries, and, of course, a breacher squad because what would heresy be without them? To complement the army theme, I chose three Terrax pattern termite transports to transport these units. Originally, I had planned to fill one of the transports with Ruinstorm daemons, but unfortunately, the rules did not allow for it. Perhaps another time.

The seventeenth legions final unit, or what is left of it, are the ‘Gal Vorbak.’ These legionaries have willingly surrendered themselves to the ruinous powers and now share their physical bodies with daemons. They have become a twisted amalgamation of mortal and daemon.

Word Bearers red and black

I’ve discussed this multiple times before and utilized it as my palette for Legio Mortis and other projects, but it never hurts to provide a summary. The foundation for all my Word Bearers armor is a metallic greyscale created by combining gunmetal and chrome paints over a flat black primer.

To achieve the desired red hue, I begin with Games Workshop Carroburg Crimson as the initial tint. Then, I apply several thin layers of Tamiya clear red until I achieve the saturation level I prefer. I aim for a rich red wine color, distinct from the brighter crimson associated with the Thousand Sons. Some have described it as resembling matured or bruised meat, but regardless of your interpretation, I use Drakenhof Nightshade to heighten the contrast in the deepest shadows.